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RodF
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PostSun Jan 12, 2014 12:46 pm 
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In 1935 through 1938, USFS Pacific Northwest Region 6 issued dozens of Recreational Guides.  They celebrate the hundreds of new trails, campgrounds, ranger stations, lookouts, trail shelters and roads the Forest Service had been able to build for the public with support from the New Deal "stimulus" funding of the 1930s.  These guides strike an artistic balance of evocative recreational symbolism and cartography.  They deserve to be more widely known and appreciated.

Lake Chelan Recreation Area Guide No. 21
Lake Chelan Recreation Area Guide No. 21
Lake Chelan Recreation Area Guide No. 21
Lake Chelan Recreation Area Guide No. 21
Spirit Lake Recreation Guide No. 6
Spirit Lake Recreation Guide No. 6
Spirit Lake Recreation Guide No. 6
Spirit Lake Recreation Guide No. 6
Mt. Hood Recreation Guide No. 41
Mt. Hood Recreation Guide No. 41
Mt. Hood Recreation Guide No. 41
Mt. Hood Recreation Guide No. 41
Eagle Cap Recreation Guide No. 25
Eagle Cap Recreation Guide No. 25
Eagle Cap Recreation Guide No. 25
Eagle Cap Recreation Guide No. 25
Eagle Cap Primitive Area 1938
Eagle Cap Primitive Area 1938
Eagle Cap Primitive Area 1938
Eagle Cap Primitive Area 1938
Tieton Recreation Guide No. 12
Tieton Recreation Guide No. 12
Tieton Recreation Guide No. 12
Tieton Recreation Guide No. 12
North Bend Recreation Guide No. 29
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North Bend Recreation Guide No. 29
North Bend Recreation Guide No. 29
North Bend Recreation Guide No. 29
Suiattle Recreation Guide No. 28
Suiattle Recreation Guide No. 28
Suiattle Recreation Guide No. 28
Suiattle Recreation Guide No. 28
Columbia Gorge Recreation Guide No. 8
Columbia Gorge Recreation Guide No. 8
Columbia Gorge Recreation Guide No. 8
Columbia Gorge Recreation Guide No. 8

I previously posted the full series of Olympic NF Recreation Guides.

Index maps for Washington and western Oregon to all sixty-five recreational guides:

Index, Washington
Index, Washington
Index, Western Oregon
Index, Western Oregon

To obtain the full resolution, click on any image above, then select "View Original".  Right-click and select "Save Picture" to keep a copy for future use.

Source: National Archives - Pacific Alaska Region (Seattle), RG 95 Records of the U.S. Forest Service Region 6, Box 48, 49, 50, 56, 67, 68.  Thanks to Archivist Ken House for his patient guidance and assistance.

Context.

"It was in the North Pacific Region that Forest Service recreation development reached its highest point during the 1930's.  Even before the beginning of the New Deal, the North Pacific Region's recreation program, headed by Fred Cleator, had led the National Forest system in recreation facility development.  The Region had been the site of the early Columbia River Gorge Park experiment as well as the pioneer Eagle Creek Campground.  By the early 1940's, picnic and camp shelters in developed areas were common sights in the National Forests of Oregon and Washington.  In 1936 an assistant to Chief Silcox could accurately report that the North Pacific stood far above the other Regions in recreation work.  The level of development of some of the more popular National Forest areas in the Northwest even surpassed that of the National Parks of the Region." - William C. Tweed, A History of Outdoor Recreational Development in National Forests, 1891-1942 (USFS, 1989).

"Reviewing the Forest Service’s recreation work in the Pacific Northwest during the New Deal era, Fred Cleator wrote with great enthusiasm about its success.  'When the CCC program broke,' he stated, 'the Forest Service in the Pacific Northwest, as a result of its previous experience, had thousands of project plans, not only engraved in the minds of its Forest Officers, but graphically on paper and ready to go.  The crying need just then was to correct our very primitive transportation and communication systems.'  Within a year and a half, Cleator noted, the bureau overcame great physical and logistical odds and set out to accomplish its projects.
"The service, with aid of CCC laborers, architects, landscape architects and other experts, improved 'dingy' ranger stations and other existing facilities.  More importantly, the bureau was able to install a long list of new structures for recreation which exceeded in 'both quality and quantity' anything 'than had been hoped for.'  The agency upgraded campgrounds and picnic areas, installing clean toilets, running water, tables, benches, kitchens, bathhouses, and campstoves.  In addition, the bureau built and renovated 'for special recreation usage' many miles of lakeside and streamside trails, bridle paths and strolls, along with 'stub or loop trails to fishing grounds, waterfalls, lookouts, and other scenic or scientific features.'”
- David Louter (NPS), citing Fred W. Cleator, “Recreation Work of the U.S. Forest Service in the Pacific Northwest,” March 14, 1936, RG 95, box G-1, file: L Recreation, 1936, NA-PNR.

Epilogue.

Forest Service regions operated with a great deal of autonomy prior to World War II.  These guides were produced by the Pacific Northwest region 6 recreation office, headed by Fred Cleator.  (Cleator, by the way, had planned, surveyed and designed many of these recreational sites himself during the preceding twenty years.  He maintained a dizzying work schedule, on the road - or trail - eight months out of the year.)  The regional office had them quickly printed locally and distributed to the various forest and ranger districts.

In 1938, the head of the U.S. Government Printing Office learned about this program, and informed Regional Forester C. J. Buck in writing that he was "breaking the law" by not having all his official government printing done in Washington D.C. by GPO.  This would have cost far more than was available in the USFS budget, and entailed long delays.  Alas, that put an end to these pre-war Recreational Guides.

Technical notes.

These guides were intended to be handed out free, and were printed on two sides on very inexpensive, tissue-thin paper.  So thin that the printing on the opposite side shows through.  And so cheap, like newspaper, than they have yellowed with age.  To improve legibility, contrast has been enhanced to suppress that "bleed through" and yellowing, at the cost of a slightly "bleached" appearance compared to the original.  (See the Columbia Gorge as an example of how the originals look.)

They were scanned at 300 dpi at NARA-PAR.  These maps are larger than my scanner, so multiple were aligned and joined; any slight misalignment is due to the "stretch" in the tissue-thin paper, and my caution in not "stretching" folds perfectly flat to avoid any possibility of tearing the original.

For faster downloads, JPEG compression was adjusted to only slightly compromise resolution for smaller size, and the text side was compressed to 150 dpi.  If anyone desires the full resolution original scans, which are files about twice as large, simply send me an e-mail.

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"of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt" - John Muir
"the wild is not the opposite of cultivated.  It is the opposite of the captivated” - Vandana Shiva
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Hulksmash
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PostSun Jan 12, 2014 4:01 pm 
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Interesting that the White Chuck Trail is shown on the map on the opposite side of the river where the modern day tail is....or was.

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Chico
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PostSun Jan 12, 2014 6:35 pm 
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Having previously purchased an original USGS topo of the Mt Stuart quadrangle (Enchantments didn't "exist" yet), getting it framed and given as a Christmas gift, doing the same for these would be cool. They deserve to be on a wall.

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hiker1
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PostSun Jan 12, 2014 6:47 pm 
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Thanks for posting these.

By any chance are the 3 guides for the Baker area available?

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falling leaves / hide the path / so quietly
~John Bailey, "Autumn," a haiku year, 2001, as posted on oldgreypoet.com
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Malachai Constant
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PostSun Jan 12, 2014 7:05 pm 
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Hulksmash wrote:
Interesting that the White Chuck Trail is shown on the map on the opposite side of the river where the modern day tail is....or was.

The original trail was on the opposite side from the more modern one, it was built to fight a big fire. It crossed the creek on a bridge below the recent trailhead. When they moved the trail across the creek it originally went up the fire creek trail to above the fill then met the creek by Glacier Creek. It is all shown in Roots and Rocks.  hmmm.gif

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RodF
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PostMon Jan 13, 2014 8:49 am 
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hiker1 wrote:
Thanks for posting these.

By any chance are the 3 guides for the Baker area available?

Baker River Recreation Guide No. 22  and Heather Meadows Winter Sport Area No. 25 may be viewed or downloaded from  National Archives Online Public Access.  They have most of them, although with poor scan resolution and contrast.  I don't see Nooksack #15 there, though.

Other Recreation Guides in the Washington Cascades that are available online from NARA OPA include:
Cle Elum
Goat Rocks
Lake Wenatchee
Leavenworth
Mount Adams
North Bend
Packwood
Randle
Skykomish
Twin Buttes
White River & Naches 1935
White River & Naches 1937
Wind River
and more in western Oregon.

Also found 1917-18 summer home site guides, with gorgeous etchings and photos:
Lake Chelan
Sunset Highway

To get this list, I used NARA OPA Search, selected Advanced Search, scrolled down to Search Field and Archival Descriptions, selected "Maps and Charts" title "recreation" from Record Group "95" (that's USFS) and got this hit list of 45.  More can be found by entering their name (instead of "Recreation", because like "Goat Rocks Primitive Area" No. 9 and "Heather Meadows Winter Sports Area" No. 25, the actual map might not have the word "Recreation" in its name.  I cannot find Nooksack, Cariboo, Republic or Kettle Falls.)

That's all I have of this series, except for an index map brochure "Summer Homes in the National Forests of Oregon and Washington" issued 1936.

Physical copies of the four in Washington that are missing here may, I hope, be available in NARA-PAR in the recreational files for Mt. Baker and Colville NFs.  (They aren't in the USFS Region 6 recreation files that I'd requested.)

If not, they should be in the USFS Region 6 archives warehouse in Portland.  The finding aid (which is not online, but I have as a .docx file) lists "R6HA-A28-0095, Oregon and Washington Recreation Guide, 1937, 10++ excellent colorized maps with interesting drawings and information".  However, they're not readily accessible.

Other possible sources are UW Library map files, Washington State Library in Olympia and the Washington State Historical Society.

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"of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt" - John Muir
"the wild is not the opposite of cultivated.  It is the opposite of the captivated” - Vandana Shiva
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RodF
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PostSat Jan 18, 2014 7:10 pm 
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Found additional guides not listed in the index maps:
Oregon Skyline Trail No. 35
Trails on the Slopes of Mt. Hood, 1931

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"of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt" - John Muir
"the wild is not the opposite of cultivated.  It is the opposite of the captivated” - Vandana Shiva
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puzzlr
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PostMon Jan 27, 2014 11:45 am 
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Just saw this post. You made my day with that North Bend Recreation area map. So many little nuggets of interesting stuff on that map. Thanks for doing this research and reporting it here!

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Zorre_09
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PostSat Feb 01, 2014 1:41 am 
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Nice post!
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payslee
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PostMon Feb 03, 2014 3:58 pm 
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Thank you so much for posting these! I had never heard of the "sunken forest" and I thought I knew gorge landmarks pretty well. It sparked my curiosity and I found this site which had lots of fun geological history. And the old St. Helens map shows the Bolt Camp shelter, which I believe was just rebuilt last year, and which I hope to visit come spring.

These are terrific. Thanks for taking the time to scan and share them!

-payslee
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Chico
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PostThu Feb 06, 2014 8:33 pm 
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We've come a long way. An hour drive from Cle Elum to Lake Cle Elum back then.

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PostFri Feb 07, 2014 8:29 am 
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puzzlr wrote:
Just saw this post. You made my day with that North Bend Recreation area map. So many little nuggets of interesting stuff on that map. Thanks for doing this research and reporting it here!

This is cool stuff. Heck so Mt. Si and Rattlesnake Ledge was there, and I thought those were put in by developers later... lol.gif  lol.gif

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Magellan
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PostFri Feb 07, 2014 8:48 am 
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Great stuff Rod!  up.gif   Thanks for taking time to post them.
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JimK
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PostFri Feb 07, 2014 1:20 pm 
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Thanks for posting. At first glance I noticed that Talapus Lake was then called Blue Lake.

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